Supporting the changing driver’s task: Exploration of interface designs for supervision and intervention in automated driving

Arie P. van den Beukel, Mascha C. van der Voort, Arthur O. Eger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Driving automation leads to a changing role for drivers, that is from manual vehicle control to supervising automation. Supervision of partial automation requires now and then intervention. Since the automation causes low vigilance and out-of-the-loop performance problems, this changing role is not well suited for human operators. To explore how driver-vehicle interfaces can support drivers in their changed role, we tested three concepts. Concept A was a baseline reference, providing only acoustic warnings. Concept B presented status-information and warnings behind the steering wheel. Concept C used illumination and haptic feedback in the seat-pan to direct attention outside the vehicle and to stimulate response. Concept C only provided vibrotactile feedback when intervention was needed. Results of our study show improved support for supervision with the illumination-concept, i.e. better hazard-detection and raised levels of Situation Awareness in some scenarios relevant for supervisory control. Knowing that supervision will be the dominating driver’s responsibility during partially automated driving, the illumination-concept is a recommended solution for support of the driver’s changing role. Nonetheless, neither concept B, nor C, showed additional support for intervention compared to the baseline. It was hypothesised that the combination of concept C’s stimuli for intervention-support caused counter-productive levels of annoyance. Furthermore, we concluded that intervention and supervision benefit from different interface-features and discussed possible causes underlying ambiguity between support for supervision and support for intervention shown with concept C. Therewith, the considerations in this paper contribute to further development of – and knowledge about – appropriate driver-vehicle interaction while vehicle-operation advances into operating partially automated driving systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-310
JournalTransportation research. Part F: Traffic psychology and behaviour
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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